Crossing Guard Training Jeffco Public Schools 2007 (Rev. 7/2009)
Welcome! And Thank You! Welcome to Crossing Guard training for Jeffco Public Schools. Thank you for your time and efforts in ensuring safe walking to and from school. We appreciate what you do to support our students! This program is designed to educate both volunteers and staff member who help facilitate safe crossings on streets or lanes of traffic in parking lots around our schools.
The next steps toward becoming a crossing guard involve: • participating in this on-line training and passing an associated test, • participating in one shift of on-street training in the position that you will be assigned or at a location that reasonably approximates the conditions/layout of that position, • a waiver needs to be completed and returned to the District for you to be eligible to participate and be covered by an Accident Medical policy that the district has purchased for crossing guard volunteers.
Volunteer Waivers The district must ask each volunteer crossing guard to sign a waiver of Workers Compensation and authorize a background check. This is required because there is not direct, daily district supervision of persons in this role. Parents of students enrolled at the school at the time that they serve as volunteers are exempt from the background check requirement.
Medical Coverage for Crossing Guard Volunteers • Volunteers are not eligible for workers’ compensation benefits under the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Statute; however, JPS does provide Accident Medical coverage for persons serving as a volunteer in this role. • Volunteers must be on duty under the direction of JPS or participate in fund-raising drives, training classes, tests, drills, or trials of a piece of apparatus connected directly with crossing guard duties during the injury event for this coverage to apply.
In this training module, we intend to accomplish the following: • Explain the laws that affect your duty as a crossing guard. • Explain the liability issues associated with this duty and how the school district is addressing potential exposures. • Discuss how children understand and interact with traffic. • Establish expectations for your general conduct in this role. • Describe crossing techniques in various scenarios. • Describe actions to be taken in the event of an emergency or if you witness hazardous behavior on the part of motorists or pedestrians.
Crossing Guards and Colorado Law Colorado traffic law does not specifically address the duties or expectations of crossing guards. CRS 13-21-115.6 does define who may be a crossing guard and protections from civil liability. A “school crossing guard” is defined as “any person who is eighteen (18) years of age or older with or without compensation who supervises, directs, monitors, or otherwise assists school children at a street or intersection.”
Can I get sued in my role as a crossing guard? • CRS 13-21-115.6 provides volunteer crossing guards with governmental immunity in the State of Colorado. In the course of their duties as a crossing guard for JPS, they are protected by the immunities of the statute, specifically claims that would lie in tort (negligence). • Over and above these defenses provided by law, the liability policy of JPS provides liability/defense coverage for volunteer crossing guards. One exception to this would be acts determined to be “reckless disregard.” “Reckless disregard” means knowing a danger exists to others and not doing anything about it. To ensure that conduct of a volunteer in a crossing guard role does not create liability for themselves or the school district, administrative representatives of JPS may reassign or remove persons, depending on what may be in the best interests of the students and school district.
Crosswalks and Colorado Law Colorado traffic law does not specifically address the duties or expectations of crossing guards. There are laws addressing crosswalks, and the expectations of pedestrians, persons operating human-powered wheeled conveyances (bicycles and similar), or vehicles relative to pedestrians. Crossing guards are pedestrians that are helping younger pedestrians (our students) make good decisions about street crossing conditions and timing. As such, they need to understand the laws that affect pedestrians, persons on bicycles or similar, and vehicles in proximity to crosswalks....
Crosswalks (continued) A “crosswalk” is defined as “…that portion of a roadway ordinarily included within the prolongation or connection of the lateral lines of sidewalks at intersections or any portion of a roadway distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing by lines or other marking on the surface.” (CRS 42-1-102 (21)) This means that crosswalks may exist at intersections, extending from sidewalk to sidewalk, even though stripes may not be present. Many of the intersections or mid-street points of crossing surrounding our schools are striped, however. (striped crosswalk) (still a crosswalk, even though there are no stripes)
Right-of-Way in a Crosswalk In crosswalks or locations included within the definition of a crosswalk as noted above, drivers are to yield the right-of-way to a pedestrian crossing the roadway in the half of the road upon which the vehicle is traveling or if the pedestrian is already in the roadway and is close and about to cross into that lane of traffic. Other vehicles should not pass a car stopped to allow a pedestrian to cross in a crosswalk.
Pedestrians and Colorado Law A “pedestrian” is defined as “…any person afoot or any person using a wheelchair.” (CRS 42-1-102 (68)) Note that this definition did not include persons riding bikes, skateboards, scooters, etc. To cross a crosswalk, persons would be expected to dismount these conveyances if there were local signage requiring it (CRS 42-4 1412(10) (b)).Jeffco Schools prefers that bikes be walked in crosswalks. They must yield the right-of-way to ambulatory or wheelchair-bound pedestrians, announce their presence as they pass, and generally ride in a manner that is safe for all pedestrians present; otherwise, bicyclists in crosswalks are afforded the same rights and duties as pedestrians as discussed on the next few slides. (CSR 42-1-1412 (10) (a-c))
Pedestrians and Colorado Law (cont’d.) Pedestrians interacting with traffic have the obligation to obey the instructions of any official traffic control device (i.e. “…all signs, signals, markings, and devices…placed or displayed by authority of a public body or official having jurisdiction [the local municipality, NOT the school district], for the purpose of regulating, warning, or guiding traffic.” (CRS 42-1-102 (64)), CRS 42-4- 801)
These include pedestrian “Walk” or “Don’t Walk” signals, when one is installed at a crosswalk or intersection. begin crossing in the crosswalk when the non-flashing “Walk” signal is shown and continue crossing if the signal changes to a flashing “Don’t Walk” signal. DO NOT begin crossing if the flashing “Don’t Walk” signal is present. Finish crossing if you are in the street, DO NOT step off of the curb if the non-flashing “Don’t Walk” signal is present.
In the absence of such signals, pedestrians should react as cars do in response to the circular colored signal they are facing: walk with green, don’t start on a steady circular yellow but finish crossing if you are already in the roadway, do not enter the roadway on a circular red (CRS 42-4-604) . Pedestrians and Colorado Law (cont’d.)
Pedestrians and Colorado Law (cont’d.) • Whether a pedestrian is at a crosswalk or not, no pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and step or run into the path of a moving vehicle which is so close as to constitute an immediate hazard (CRS 42-4-802). • Pedestrians must yield the right-of-way to vehicles upon the roadway at all other locations than those defined as a crosswalk. Apart from visibility, reaction time, and a driver’s reasonable expectation that a pedestrian might be crossing mid-block, this is another reason why we encourage students to cross at marked crossings or intersections, and especially those with your supervision. (CRS 42-4-803) • All persons, including pedestrians and drivers, are to yield to persons with disabilities and take precautions necessary to prevent an accident with such persons. (CRS 42-4-808)
Vehicles driving over crosswalks and Colorado Law • Vehicles must stop short of a crosswalk or yield the right-of-way in the • following situations: • if there is not enough space beyond the crosswalk to clear it completely without obstructing the passage of pedestrians (CRS 42-4-709); • at a stop sign, in the absence of a clearly marked stop line, prior to entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, unless otherwise directed by a police officer (CRS 42-4-703(3)), • at a yield sign, “slow to a speed reasonable for the existing conditions and, if required to stop, shall stop,” in the absence of a clearly marked stop line, prior to entering the crosswalk on the near side of the intersection… (CRS 42-4-703(4)), • as they emerge from or enter an alley, driveway, building, parking lot, or other place immediately prior to driving onto a sidewalk or into the sidewalk area extending across any such alleyway, driveway, or entranceway, shall yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian upon or about to enter such sidewalk or sidewalk area extending across” the same (CRS 42-4-710 (1) and (2)). • Violations of these requirements are class A traffic infractions per • the Colorado Revised Statutes.
Parking Near a Crosswalk Persons may not stop, stand, or park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic or in compliance with the directions of a police officer or an official traffic control device, on a crosswalk or within 20 feet of a crosswalk at an intersection. Violations of these requirements are class B traffic infractions per the Colorado Revised Statutes. At least 20 feet
Children and Traffic Helping children make good decisions when crossing streets is so important because their motor skills, vision, and cognition are still developing; this puts them at a disadvantage when assessing the safety of a crossing. Specific considerations are as follows: • Children have a field of vision that is about 2/3 that of adults. • They can’t judge a car’s speed or distance well. • They assume that if they can see a car, the car (or rather, it’s driver) can see them. • They cannot easily identify the direction of the source of a sound. • They may be impatient or impulsive. • Children concentrate on one thing at a time; traffic may mot be their primary interest at the time of crossing. • They have a limited sense of danger. • They often mix fantasy with reality. • They imitate the behavior of others (older children, adults).1 • Appreciating these limitations helps crossing guards understand the criticality of modeling good behaviors to children at street crossings. 1City of Madison, How Children See Traffic, Traffic Engineering Division, Department of Transportation, City of Madison, WI.
Arrive at your post with appropriate assigned equipment five minutes prior to the assigned start time for crosswalk coverage. Remain at your post through the duration of the shift. Your school administration will tell you the start and release times of the school and what the “rush hour” generally is around those times. Have a neat appearance. The school district is not mandating a particular uniform, although your school may choose to provide a shirt or similar. You will be assigned safety equipment to heighten visibility to your person and your role, this will include a vest that is to be worn as the outer-most layer of any combination of clothing you are wearing for the conditions. Wear protective and visibity-enhancing clothing appropriate for the weather conditions. We need you healthy and present each day that you are scheduled for this role! Make sure you bundle up for the cold, rain, etc. Do not smoke or use any intoxicants prior to or while on duty. JPS has a zero-tolerance policy regarding the use of intoxicants. Beyond that, you are a role model to the students, and JPS would like you to model appropriate and healthy behaviors in this role. Cell phone use is permitted only in the event of an emergency. Casual use while on duty detracts attention from your primary responsibility and appears unprofessional; do not make/take personal calls while on duty. Be friendly, courteous, persuasive, and businesslike to pedestrians and motorists. Do not become angry or disrespectful with pedestrians or motorists. Use the reporting procedure indicated later in this program, coordinating with your Principal and the Police Department. Use available safe gaps or create them as necessary per your training, but do not attempt to control traffic beyond that. Use available traffic infrastructure (signals, particularly) to support your crossing activity, when present. If you are unable to perform your duties, leave a message with your Principal or their designee for this program. If you drive to and park near the intersection that you will be supporting, you should make sure that you park at least 20 feet away from the crosswalk, and in a manner consistent with any other signage present in the area. We don’t want your vehicle to be ticketed in the course of your performance of this duty! On being a crossing guard…Congratulations on being selected as a crossing guard and thank you again for volunteering your time to this safety function for the students at your school!When you are assigned a crosswalk in the neighborhood near your school, there are some basic expectations that will be required of you:
Safety Equipment You will be provided with the following equipment to perform your role as a crossing guard: • An ANSI Class 2 safety vest, • a “stop” paddle, • a whistle, • a set of “Ice Grips,”(optional) • a swim noodle (optional) This equipment is the property of the district and shall be returned to the school at the end of each school year or at the conclusion of your assignment as a crossing guard for that school. You may keep the whistle. Each school will determine whether equipment is to be picked up and dropped back to the school at the beginning and end of each shift, or maintained by the individual for the duration of the school year.
weather, construction, accumulation of water, snow, or ice in the crosswalk, powered signals that are not working or have timing functions that have skewed from the original intended times. In this event, contact the school regarding signals that malfunction; they need to contact Risk Management to coordinate the correction of it. Crossing TechniquesUpon arrival at your assigned crosswalk, note unusual conditions that could make crossing more difficult; this could include:
Inclement weather • On days when weather has reduced visibility, it is very important that your visibility is increased. • Wear the ANSI Class 2 retroreflective vest outside of your outer layer of clothing • Make sure that you have the motorists’ attention before crossing • Make eye contact with them • Use your whistle, if you have one (one long blast) • If you have traffic cones, use them to clarify the location of the crosswalk. Retroreflective tape on cones would also be helpful.
Position • The crossing guard should start on the curb that pedestrian traffic will be crossing from (ex., curb opposite school to cross morning traffic to school, curb adjacent to school to cross afternoon traffic from school). • Stay on curb, at least a step back from the street, and have the group assemble behind the crossing guard’s position. Wait until there is a group that is ready to cross. • Once crossing has started, any additional persons that arrive should be instructed to wait until you return for them. (mornings) School (afternoons)
Creating safe gaps in traffic for crossings1 • Ideally, a “safe gap” of 150 feet should be chosen for most road and weather conditions, to account for drivers’ reaction time and braking distance. • Face the closest oncoming traffic to your position and wait for a gap in traffic in the lane closest to where you are standing. • Alert oncoming traffic (hand signals, whistle) that you are entering the road. • Traffic in the lane closest to you is to stop as they approach your position. (If there are multiple lanes flowing in the same direction, each lane should come to a stop as you approach the edge of that lane (Colorado law requires it).) • Stand on the edge of the crosswalk closest to the intersection. Once traffic is stopped in one direction, turn to face opposite approaching traffic and stop them with the same hand signals, etc. • Confirm that all traffic has stopped, then signal students to cross. • Stay on the edge of the crosswalk and face the intersection to monitor activity of the opposite and cross-traffic (potential turns into the crosswalk, etc.) during the crossing. Also check behind you, monitoring oncoming traffic activity). • When the last student is on the opposite curb, walk back to your starting position, lower your hands, and allow traffic to resume. 1 FDOT Safety Office and Florida School Crossing Guard Task Force, Florida School Crossing Guard Training Guidelines, c. 1998, pp.14-17.
Communicating to students: • Ensure that students obey traffic control devices that are in place (this may require explaining what to do during the “Walk,” flashing “Don’t Walk,” and “Don’t Walk” signals). • Anyone with a bicycle must walk the bicycle through the crosswalk. This is safest thing to do considering the variety of traffic that may be traveling in both directions on the crosswalk. • Communicate expectations of behavior for the crossing group, such as “wait until I tell you it is safe to cross,” “walk briskly, but no running,” “no pushing,” “stay in the crosswalk,” “please don’t jump in puddles,” etc.
At an un-signalized crossing on an undivided highway2 • Observe traffic in all directions that could affect your crossing. Wait for a gap in the traffic on the side of the street from which you are starting. • Raise the Stop paddle before stepping off the curb, and keep it raised for the duration of the time that you are in the street. Accompany use of the paddle with one long blast on the whistle (if available). • Always stay in the crosswalk and stand on the line of the crosswalk closest to the intersection.
At an un-signalized crossing on an undivided highway (cont’d) - When preparing to cross a group of people, do not allow them to cross until the crossing guard is positioned in the middle of the intersection and traffic in both/all directions has stopped. Make eye contact with drivers to be sure that they are paying attention to your actions and that of the group. - Give the group to be crossed a verbal signal to proceed into the intersection. Visual signals such as a nod of the head is also appropriate. - After the group has crossed completely and safely, return to the curb from which pedestrian flow is coming, and wait for the next group to collect for crossing. - This format is to be followed, even when there are no cars present.
At a signalized crossing on an undivided highway3 • As a group gathers, press the button for the crossing signal. In the absence of a crossing signal, follow the traffic signal lights. - Observe traffic in all directions that could affect your crossing. • Enter the street on a “fresh” “Walk” signal or green signal. Make eye contact with/otherwise alert vehicles potentially executing left and right turns into the crosswalk. - Raise the Stop paddle before stepping off the curb, and keep it raised for the duration of the time that you are in the street. Accompany use of the paddle with one long blast on the whistle (if available). • Stay in the crosswalk and stand on the line of the crosswalk closest to the intersection. • Do not allow people to cross until the crossing guard is positioned in the middle of the intersection and traffic in both/all directions has stopped. Make eye contact with drivers to be sure that they are paying attention to your actions and that of the group. • No cars should move until students have completed their crossing. (Note: if there is a protected left-turn signal present, do not cross students during this phase of the light.)
For divided highways4… • A crossing guard should be assigned to each side of the highway. The guard on the side that children are approaching from stops traffic in their lane(s) and takes the lead in coordinating the overall crossing; the other guard takes cues from the lead guard. When they initiate the crossing, the other guard should stop traffic in their lane(s) to support a completed crossing. • Otherwise, procedures are the same for signalized and un-signalized crossings as indicated above. Do not let students cross during the protected left-turn signal phase of the light. 2, 3, 4 FDOT Safety Office and Florida School Crossing Guard Task Force, Florida School Crossing Guard Training Guidelines, c. 1998, pp.14-17.
Limitations of Actions:A crossing guard is not an enforcement officer, and does not have the authority to direct traffic or take action against violators of traffic laws. • If you have signals or other controls installed at your intersection, initiate crossings in concert with the traffic control they provide. • Use gaps in traffic as much as possible to expedite crossings; create gaps pursuant to training when necessary. • Violations that are witnessed can be documented and referred through the school to the appropriate authority, as indicated on the next few slides.
When you observe unsafe acts of students • When you observe departures from safe behavior that involve students, refer the student’s name and actions to the Principal of the school after the shift has been completed. • Record the name, grade, and behavior of the student. • Unsafe behavior can include, but is not limited to: • crossing other than with the group, with a signal, or at the direction of a crossing guard, • failing to cross in the crosswalk, • horseplay, • bullying, or • failing to walk one’s bicycle across the street. • You may be included in Positive Behavior System (PBS) training at your school to understand what safe behavior expectations are for • students in parking lots or on the street.
When you observe unsafe acts of drivers • When you witness violations of traffic laws or other departures from safe behavior that involve drivers, refer the driver’s information and actions to the Principal of the school after the shift has been completed. • Use the “Traffic Violation Report” form to document information regarding the name and or description of the driver. • Examples may include: did not stop for crossing pedestrians, U-Turns, speeding (must be verified by radar/officer), etc. • You can also write on the form items such as vehicles stopping or standing on a crosswalk, failure to yield ROW for a crossing across an entrance. • Information needed includes license plate number, vehicle description, date/time/location, and the ability to identify the driver. • Remember!...never engage the driver in a dispute regarding the unsafe behavior. Leave the determination and enforcement to the local police department.
In the event of an emergency • Ensure the safety of the children that may be present in the crosswalk at the time of the event by completing the crossing. • Do not leave your post; instead, alert several motorists or pedestrians to call “911.” In the event that there is no one who can do this, the crossing guard can place the call after ensuring all children are safely across the street. • If the incident involves a crossing pedestrian, check for injuries and protect the victim until police arrive. • Notify the school of events. The school should notify Safety and Security and Risk Management.
Next Steps… • Complete the written exam with a score of 80% or higher. • Sign the District waiver. • Meet with a District SPO to complete one shift of on-street training. • Get your safety equipment and schedule. • Make the walk to school safer for our students! Thank you for your participation in this program!